Blue Bird workers.

The three-year deal comes with at least a 12% raise for all workers.

Source: Blue Bird, Canva

More than 1,500 members at Blue Bird Corp.’s Fort Valley, Ga., facility have overwhelmingly ratified their first union contract, announced company leaders and the United Steelworkers this week. The agreement provides workers with substantial wage improvements, enhanced job respect, a profit-sharing system, and crucial health and safety provisions.

Under the three-year deal, all workers will receive at least a 12% raise, with some of the lowest paid seeing increases exceeding 40%. The contract also ensures retirement security through a defined contribution plan, addressing worker concerns regarding civil rights, health insurance costs, public policy, job creation, and more.

“I am pleased with the ratification of our first collective bargaining agreement following a very collaborative and professional process with the USW,” said Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “We reached an agreement which provides positive outcomes for all parties involved and will continue to drive our One Team, high-performance culture. We are confident that the agreement will further bolster Blue Bird’s position as an employer of choice in the region. We remain committed to serving our customers in North America with distinction and delivering on our growth plans. In addition, we are looking forward to a strong partnership with our USW team members.”

Blue Bird, known for manufacturing school buses, including low-emission and zero-emission models, has been approved to receive substantial funding through the EPA’s Clean School Bus program. Dan Flippo, USW District 9 Director, emphasized the importance of federal investments being accompanied by workers having a seat at the table.

“The collective bargaining agreement provides the framework for well-paying jobs and competitive benefits, along with attractive career development and skill-building opportunities. It will assist the company in attracting, retaining, and motivating top talent, strengthening Blue Bird’s position as an employer of choice,” Flippo added.

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